Select one of the following Case Studies 13.1, 13.2, or 13.3.  (Pages 314-316)Use the guidelines below to draft your analysis of the case.Guidelines for Case StudyBrief introductory or problem synopsisStakeholders or parties of interest involvedCritical issues or key findings/observationsPropose 2-3 possible alternatives for solving the problemOne Recommendation based on the aforementioned alternatives. Note: Be sure to mention why the selected recommendation is the best option. Include any theoretical or academic support to validate your recommended proposal.*Note: The questions at the end of each case are thought provoking. However, I prefer for the format of your analysis to be presented as listed above.Here is the textbook:Leadership Theory and Practice 7th – Peter G. Northouse.pdf leadership_theory_and_practice_7th___peter_g._northouse.pdfLeadership
Seventh Edition
To Laurel, Lisa, Madison, Scott, and Kallie
Theory and Practice • Seventh Edition
Peter g.Northouse
Western Michigan University
For information:
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Leadershop : theory and practice/Peter Northouse,
Western Michigan University.—Seventh Edition.
pages cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4833-1753-3 (pbk. : alk. paper)
1. Leadership. 2. Leadership—Case studies. I. Title.
HM1261.N67 2015
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15 16 17 18 19 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Brief Contents
1. Introduction
2. Trait Approach
4. Behavioral Approach
3. Skills Approach
5. Situational Approach
6. Path–Goal Theory
8. Transformational Leadership
7. Leader–Member Exchange Theory
9. Authentic Leadership
10. Servant Leadership
11. Adaptive Leadership
12. Psychodynamic Approach
13. Leadership Ethics
14. Team Leadership
15. Gender and Leadership
16. Culture and Leadership
Author Index
About the Author
Subject index
About the Contributors
Detailed Contents
1. Introduction
Leadership Defined
Ways of Conceptualizing Leadership
Definition and Components
Leadership Described
Trait Versus Process Leadership
Assigned Versus Emergent Leadership
Leadership and Power
Leadership and Coercion
Leadership and Management
Plan of the Book
2. Trait Approach
Five-Factor Personality Model and Leadership
Emotional Intelligence
How Does the Trait Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 2.1 Choosing a New Director of Research
Case 2.2 A Remarkable Turnaround
Case 2.3 Recruiting for the Bank
Leadership Instrument
Leadership Trait Questionnaire (LTQ)
3. Skills Approach
Three-Skill Approach
Technical Skill
Human Skill
Conceptual Skill
Summary of the Three-Skill Approach
Skills Model
Individual Attributes
Leadership Outcomes
Career Experiences
Environmental Influences
Summary of the Skills Model
How Does the Skills Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 3.1 A Strained Research Team
Case 3.2 A Shift for Lieutenant Colonel Adams
Case 3.3 Andy’s Recipe
Leadership Instrument
Skills Inventory
4. Behavioral Approach
The Ohio State Studies
The University of Michigan Studies
Blake and Mouton’s Managerial (Leadership) Grid
Authority–Compliance (9,1)
Country-Club Management (1,9)
Impoverished Management (1,1)
Middle-of-the-Road Management (5,5)
Team Management (9,9)
How Does the Behavioral Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 4.1 A Drill Sergeant at First
Case 4.2 Eating Lunch Standing Up
Case 4.3 We Are Family
Leadership Instrument
Leadership Behavior Questionnaire
5. Situational Approach
Leadership Styles
Development Levels
How Does the Situational Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 5.1 Marathon Runners at Different Levels
Case 5.2 Why Aren’t They Listening?
Case 5.3 Getting the Message Across
Leadership Instrument
Situational Leadership Questionnaire: Sample Items
6. Path–Goal Theory
Leader Behaviors
Directive Leadership
Supportive Leadership
Participative Leadership
Achievement-Oriented Leadership
Follower Characteristics
Task Characteristics
How Does Path–Goal Theory Work?
Case Studies
Case 6.1 Three Shifts, Three Supervisors
Case 6.2 Direction for Some, Support for Others
Case 6.3 Playing in the Orchestra
Leadership Instrument
Path–Goal Leadership Questionnaire
7. Leader–Member Exchange Theory
Early Studies
Later Studies
Leadership Making
How Does LMX Theory Work?
Case Studies
Case 7.1 His Team Gets the Best Assignments
Case 7.2 Working Hard at Being Fair
Case 7.3 Taking on Additional Responsibilities
Leadership Instrument
LMX 7 Questionnaire
8. Transformational Leadership
Transformational Leadership Defined
Transformational Leadership and Charisma
A Model of Transformational Leadership
Transformational Leadership Factors
Transactional Leadership Factors
Nonleadership Factor
Other Transformational Perspectives
Bennis and Nanus
Kouzes and Posner
How Does the Transformational Approach Work?
Case Studies
Case 8.1 The Vision Failed
Case 8.2 An Exploration in Leadership
Case 8.3 Her Vision of a Model Research Center
Leadership Instrument
9. Authentic Leadership
Authentic Leadership Defined
Approaches to Authentic Leadership
Practical Approach
Theoretical Approach
How Does Authentic Leadership Work?
Case Studies
Case 9.1 Am I Really a Leader?
Case 9.2 A Leader Under Fire
Case 9.3 The Reluctant First Lady
Leadership Instrument
Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment Questionnaire
10. Servant Leadership
Servant Leadership Defined
Historical Basis of Servant Leadership
Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader
Building a Theory About Servant Leadership
Model of Servant Leadership
Antecedent Conditions
Servant Leader Behaviors
Summary of the Model of Servant Leadership
How Does Servant Leadership Work?
Case Studies
Case 10.1 Everyone Loves Mrs. Noble
Case 10.2 Doctor to the Poor
Case 10.3 Servant Leadership Takes Flight
Leadership Instrument
Servant Leadership Questionnaire
11. Adaptive Leadership
Adaptive Leadership Defined
A Model of Adaptive Leadership
Situational Challenges
Leader Behaviors
Adaptive Work
How Does Adaptive Leadership Work?
Case Studies
Case 11.1 Silence, Stigma, and
Mental Illness
Case 11.2 Taming Bacchus
Case 11.3 Redskins No More
Leadership Instrument
Adaptive Leadership Questionnaire
12. Psychodynamic Approach
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries and Alicia Cheak
The Clinical Paradigm
History of the Psychodynamic Approach
Key Concepts and Dynamics Within the
Psychodynamic Approach
1. Focus on the Inner Theatre
2. Focus on the Leader-Follower
3. Focus on the Shadow Side of Leadership
How Does the Psychodynamic Approach Work?
Group Coaching
Case Studies
Case 12.1 Dealing With Passive-Aggressives
Case 12.2 The Fear of Success
Case 12.3 Helping a Bipolar Leader
Leadership Instrument
The Leadership Archetype
Questionnaire (Abridged Version)
13. Leadership Ethics
Ethics Defined
Level 1. Preconventional Morality
Level 2. Conventional Morality
Level 3. Postconventional Morality
Ethical Theories
Centrality of Ethics to Leadership
Heifetz’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership
Burns’s Perspective on Ethical Leadership
The Dark Side of Leadership
Principles of Ethical Leadership
Ethical Leaders Respect Others
Ethical Leaders Serve Others
Ethical Leaders Are Just
Ethical Leaders Are Honest
Ethical Leaders Build Community
Case Studies
Case 13.1 Choosing a Research Assistant
Case 13.2 How Safe Is Safe?
Case 13.3 Reexamining a Proposal
Leadership Instrument
Perceived Leader Integrity Scale (PLIS)
14. Team Leadership
Susan E. Kogler Hill
Team Leadership Model
Team Effectiveness
Leadership Decisions
Leadership Actions
How Does the Team Leadership Model Work?
Case Studies
Case 14.1 Can This Virtual Team Work?
Case 14.2 They Dominated the Conversation
Case 14.3 Starts With a Bang, Ends With a Whimper
Leadership Instrument
Team Excellence and Collaborative
Team Leader Questionnaire
15. Gender and Leadership
Crystal L. Hoyt and Stefanie Simon
The Glass Ceiling Turned Labyrinth
Evidence of the Leadership Labyrinth
Understanding the Labyrinth
Gender Differences in Leadership Styles
and Effectiveness
Navigating the Labyrinth
Case Studies
Case 15.1 The “Glass Ceiling”
Case 15.2 Lack of Inclusion and Credibility
Case 15.3 Pregnancy as a Barrier to Job Status
Leadership Instrument
The Gender–Leader Implicit Association Test
16. Culture and Leadership
Culture Defined
Related Concepts
Dimensions of Culture
Uncertainty Avoidance
Power Distance
Institutional Collectivism
In-Group Collectivism
Gender Egalitarianism
Future Orientation
Performance Orientation
Humane Orientation
Clusters of World Cultures
Characteristics of Clusters
Confucian Asia
Eastern Europe
Germanic Europe
Latin America
Latin Europe
Middle East
Nordic Europe
Southern Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Leadership Behavior and Culture Clusters
Eastern Europe Leadership Profile
Latin America Leadership Profile
Latin Europe Leadership Profile
Confucian Asia Leadership Profile
Nordic Europe Leadership Profile
Anglo Leadership Profile
Sub-Saharan Africa Leadership Profile
Southern Asia Leadership Profile
Germanic Europe Leadership Profile
Middle East Leadership Profile
Universally Desirable and Undesirable
Leadership Attributes
Case Studies
Case 16.1 A Challenging Workplace
Case 16.2 A Special Kind of Financing
Case 16.3 Whose Hispanic Center Is It?
Leadership Instrument
Dimensions of Culture Questionnaire
Author Index
About the Author
About the Contributors
Subject index
This seventh edition of Leadership: Theory and Practice is written with the
objective of bridging the gap between the often-simplistic popular approaches
to leadership and the more abstract theoretical approaches. Like the previous
editions, this edition reviews and analyzes a selected number of leadership
theories, giving special attention to how each theoretical approach can be
applied in real-world organizations. In essence, my purpose is to explore how
leadership theory can inform and direct the way leadership is practiced.
New to this volume is a chapter on adaptive leadership, which examines the
nature of adaptive leadership, its underpinnings, and how it works. The
chapter presents a definition, a model, and the latest research and applications of this emerging approach to leadership. In addition, the strengths and
weaknesses of the adaptive leadership approach are examined, and a questionnaire to help readers assess their own levels of adaptive leadership is
provided. Three case studies illustrating adaptive leadership are presented at
the end of the chapter.
This volume also presents an entirely new chapter on psychodynamic leadership written by a leading expert in the field, Manfred F. R. Kets De Vries,
and Alicia Cheak. Like the other chapters, this chapter provides a theoretical explanation of psychodynamic leadership, applications, cases studies, and
an assessment instrument.
This edition also includes an expanded discussion of the dark side of leadership and psuedotransformational leadership and the negative uses and
abuses of leadership. New research has been added throughout the book as
xviii  Leadership Theory and Practice
well as many new case studies and examples that help students apply leadership concepts to contemporary settings.
This edition retains many special features from previous editions but has
been updated to include new research findings, figures and tables, and everyday applications for many leadership topics including leader–member
exchange theory, transformational and authentic leadership, team leadership,
the labyrinth of women’s leadership, and historical definitions of leadership.
The format of this edition parallels the format used in earlier editions. As
with previous editions, the overall goal of Leadership: Theory and Practice is
to advance our understanding of the many different approaches to leadership
and ways to practice it more effectively.
Special Features 
Although this text presents and analyzes a wide range of leadership
research, every attempt has been made to present the material in a clear,
concise, and interesting manner. Reviewers of the book have consistently
commented that clarity is one of its major strengths. In addition to the
writing style, several other features of the book help make it user-friendly.
• Each chapter follows the same format: It is structured to include first
theory and then practice.
• Every chapter contains a discussion of the strengths and criticisms of
the approach under consideration, and assists the reader in determining the relative merits of each approach.
• Each chapter includes an application section that discusses the practical aspects of the approach and how it could be used in today’s
organizational settings.
• Three case studies are provided in each chapter to illustrate common
leadership issues and dilemmas. Thought-provoking questions follow
each case study, helping readers to interpret the case.
• A questionnaire is provided in each of the chapters to help the reader
apply the approach to his or her own leadership style or setting.
• Figures and tables illustrate the content of the theory and make the
ideas more meaningful.
Through these special features, every effort has been made to make this text
substantive, understandable, and practical.
Preface xix
This book provides both an in-depth presentation of leadership theory and
a discussion of how it applies to real-life situations. Thus, it is intended for
undergraduate and graduate classes in management, leadership studies,
business, educational leadership, public administration, nursing and allied
health, social work, criminal justice, industrial and organizational psychology, communication, religion, agricultural education, political and military
science, and training and development. It is particularly well suited as a
supplementary text for core organizational behavior courses or as an overview text within MBA curricula. This book would also be useful as a text in
student activities, continuing education, in-service training, and other
leadership-development programs.
Instructor Teaching Site
SAGE edge for Instructors, a password-protected instructor resource site,
supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create
a rich learning environment for students. The test banks, which have been
expanded for this edition, include multiple-choice and true/false questions
to test comprehension, as well as essay questions that ask students to apply
the material. An electronic test bank, compatible with PCs and Macs
through Diploma software, is also available. Chapter-specific resources
include PowerPoint slides, study and discussion questions, suggested exercises, full-text journal articles, and video and audio links. General resources
include course-long projects, sample syllabi, film resources, and case notes.
Printable PDF versions of the questionnaires from the text are included for
instructors to print and distribute for classroom use. A course cartridge
includes assets found on the Instructor Teaching Site and the Student Study
Site, as well as a bonus quiz for each chapter in the book—all in an easy-toupload package. Go to to access the companion site.
Student Study Site
SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students
accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.
Mobile-friendly eFlashcards and practice quizzes strengthen understanding
of key terms and concepts and allow for independent assessment by students
of their mastery of course material. A customized online action plan includes
xx  Leadership Theory and Practice
tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which
allows students to individualize their learning experience. Learning objectives, multimedia links, discussion questions, and SAGE journal articles help
students study and reinforce the most important material. Students can go
to to access the site.
Media Icons
Icons appearing at the bottom of the page will direct you to online media
such as videos, audio links, journal articles, and reference articles that correspond with key chapter concepts. Visit the Student Study Site at edge. to access this media.
Northouse on Leadership
  SAGE Journal Article
   Reference Article
Many people directly or indirectly contributed to the development of the
seventh edition of Leadership: Theory and Practice. First, I would like to
acknowledge my editor, Maggie Stanley, and her talented team at SAGE
Publications (Nicole, Abbie, MaryAnn, Liz, Katie, and Lauren) who have
contributed significantly to the quality of this edition and ensured its success. For their very capable work during the production phase, I would like
to thank copy editor Melinda Masson, and senior project editor Libby Larson. In her own unique way, each of these people made valuable contributions to the seventh edition.
For comprehensive reviews of the seventh edition, I would like to thank the
following reviewers:
Meera Alagaraja, University of Louisville
Mel Albin, Excelsior College
Thomas Batsching, Reutlingen University
Cheryl Beeler, Angelo State University
Mark D. Bowman, Methodist University
Dianne Burns, University of Manchester
Eric Buschlen, Central Michigan University
Steven Bryant, Drury University
Daniel Calhoun, Georgia Southern University
David Conrad, Augsburg College
Joyce Cousins, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
xxii  Leadership Theory and Practice
Denise Danna, LSUHSC School of Nursing
S. Todd Deal, Georgia Southern University
Caroline S. Fulmer, University of Alabama
Greig A. Gjerdalen, Capilano University
Andrew Gonzales, University of California, Irvine
Carl Holschen, Missouri Baptist University
Kiran Ismail, St. John’s University
Irma Jones, University of Texas at Brownsville
Michele D. Kegley, University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College
David Lees, University of Derby
David S. McClain, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Carol McMillan, New School University
Richard Milter, Johns Hopkins University
Christopher Neck, Arizona State University–Tempe
Keeok Park, University of La Verne
Richard Parkman, University of Plymouth
Chaminda S. Prelis, University of Dubuque
Casey Rae, George Fox University
Noel Ronan, Waterford Institute of Technology
Louis Rubino, California State University, Northridge
Shadia Sachedina, Baruch College (School of Public Affairs)
Harriet L. Schwartz, Carlow University
Kelli K. Smith, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
David Swenson, The College of St. Scholastica
Danny L. Talbot, Washington State University
Robert L. Taylor, University of Louisville
Precious Taylor-Clifton, Cambridge College
John Tummons, University of Missouri
Acknowledgments xxiii
Kristi Tyran, Western Washington University
Tamara Von George, Granite State College
Natalie Walker, Seminole State College
William Welch, Bowie State University
David E. Williams, Texas Tech University
Tony Wohlers, Cameron University
Sharon A. Wulf, Worcester Polytechnic Institute School of Business
Alec Zama, Grand View University
Xia Zhao, California State University, Dominguez Hills
I would like to thank, for their exceptional work on the leadership profile
tool and the ancillaries, Isolde Anderson (Hope College), John Baker
(Western Kentucky University), Renee Kosiarek (North Central College)
and Lisa Burgoon (University of Illinois), and for his feedback in the construction and scoring of the adaptive leadership questionnaire, Paul Yelsma
(Western Michigan University).
A special acknowledgment goes to Laurel Northouse for her insightful
critiques and ongoing support. In addition, I am grateful to Marie Lee, for
her exceptional editing and guidance throughout this project. For their
reviews of and comments on the adaptive leadership chapter, I am indebted
to Sarah Chace (Marian University), Carl Larson (University of Denver),
and Chip Bailey (Duke University).
Finally, I would like to thank the many undergraduate and graduate students
whom I have taught through the years. Their ongoing feedback has helped
clarify my thinking about leadership and encouraged me to make plain the
practical implications of leadership theories.
SAGE was founded in 1965 by Sara Miller McCune to
support the dissemination of usable knowledge by publishing
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Today, we publish more than 750 journals, including those
of more than 300 learned societies, more than 800 new
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Los Angeles | London | Washington DC | New Delhi | Singapore | Boston
eadership is a highly sought-after and highly valued commodity. In the
15 years since the first edition of this book was published, the public
has become increasingly captivated by the idea of leadership. People continue to ask themselves and others what makes good leaders. As individuals,
they seek more information on how to become effective leaders. As a result,
bookstore shelves are filled with popular books about leaders and advice on
how to be a leader. Many people believe that leadership is a way to improve
their personal, social, and professional lives. Corporations seek those with
leadership ability because they believe they bring special assets to their
organizations and, ultimately, improve the bottom line. Academic institutions throughout the country have responded by providing programs in
leadership studies.
In addition, leadership has gained the attention of researchers worldwide. A
review of the scholarly studies on leadership shows that there is a wide variety
of different theoretical approaches to explain the complexities of the leadership process (e.g., Bass, 1990; Bryman, 1992; Bryman, Collinson, Grint, Jackson, & Uhl-Bien, 2011; Day & Antonakis, 2012; Gardner, 1990; Hickman,
2009; Mumford, 2006; Rost, 1991). Some researchers conceptualize leadership as a trait or as a behavior, whereas others view leadership from an information-processing perspective or relational standpoint. Leadership has been
studied using both qualitative and quantitative methods in many contexts,
including small groups, therapeutic groups, and large organizations. Collectively, the research findings on leadership from all of these areas provide a
picture of a process that is far more sophisticated and complex than the oftensimplistic view presented in some of the popular books on leadership.
This book treats leadership as a complex process having multiple dimensions.
Based on the research literature, this text provides an in-depth description
Leadership Defined
Role of Leadership
2  Leadership Theory and Practice
and application of many different approaches to leadership. Our emphasis is
on how theory can inform the practice of leadership. In this book, we describe
each theory and then explain how the theory can be used in real situations.
Leadership Defined______________________________
There are many ways to finish the sentence “Leadership is . . .” In fact, as
Stogdill (1974, p. 7) pointed out in a review of leadership research, there are
almost as many different definitions of leadership as there are people who
have tried to define it. It is much like the words democracy, love, and peace.
Although each of us intuitively knows what we mean by such words, the
words can have different meanings for different people. As Box 1.1 shows,
scholars and practitioners have attempted to define leadership for more
than a century without universal consensus.
Box 1.1 The Evolution of Leadership
While many have a gut-level grasp of what leadership is, putting a
definition to the term has proved to be a challenging endeavor for
scholars and practitioners alike. More than a century has lapsed since
leadership became a topic of academic introspection, and definitions
have evolved continuously during that period. These definitions have
been influenced by many factors from world affairs and politics to the
perspectives of the discipline in which the topic is being studied. In a
seminal work, Rost (1991) analyzed materials written from 1900 to
1990, finding more than 200 different definitions for leadership. His
analysis provides a succinct history of how leadership has been
defined through the last century:
Definitions of leadership appearing in the first three decades of the
20th century emphasized control and centralization of power with a
common theme of domination. For example, at a conference on leadership in 1927, leadership was defined as “the ability to impress the
will of the leader on those led and induce obedience, respect, loyalty,
and cooperation” (Moore, 1927, p. 124).
Defining Leadership
Chapter 1 Introduction 3
Traits became the focus of defining leadership, with an emerging view
of leadership as influence rather than domination. Leadership was
also identified as the interaction of an individual’s specific personality
traits with those of a group; it was noted that while the attitudes and
activities of the many may be changed by the one, the many may also
influence a leader.
The group approach came into the forefront with leadership being
defined as the behavior of an individual while involved in directing
group activities (Hemphill, 1949). At the same time, leadership by
persuasion was distinguished from “drivership” or leadership by coercion (Copeland, 1942).
Three themes dominated leadership definitions during this decade:
• continuance of group theory, which framed leadership as what
leaders do in groups;
• leadership as a relationship that develops shared goals, which
defined leadership based on behavior of the leader; and
• effectiveness, in which leadership was defined by the ability to
influence overall group effectiveness.
Although a tumultuous time for world affairs, the 1960s saw harmony
amongst leadership scholars. The prevailing definition of leadership
as behavior that influences people toward shared goals was underscored by Seeman (1960) who described leadership as “acts by persons
which influence other persons in a shared direction” (p. 53).
The group focus gave way to the organizational behavior approach,
where leadership became viewed as “initiating and maintaining groups
or organizations to accomplish group or organizational goals” (Rost,
1991, p. 59). Burns’s (1978) definition, however, was the most important
concept of leadership to emerge: “Leadership is the reciprocal process
Leadership in Nursing
4  Leadership Theory and Practice
of mobilizing by persons with certain motives and values, various economic, political, and other resources, in a context of competition and
conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by
both leaders and followers” (p. 425).
This decade exploded with scholarly and popular works on the nature
of leadership, bringing the topic to the apex of the academic and
public consciousnesses. As a result, the number of definitions for leadership became a prolific stew with several persevering themes:
• Do as the leader wishes. Leadership definitions still predominantly delivered the message that leadership is getting followers
to do what the leader wants done.
• Influence. Probably the most often used word in leadership
definitions of the 1980s, influence was examined from every
angle. In an effort to distinguish leadership from management, however, scholars insisted that leadership is noncoercive
• Traits. Spurred by the national best seller In Search of Excellence
(Peters & Waterman, 1982), the leadership-as-excellence movement brought leader traits back to the spotlight. As a result,
many people’s understanding of leadership is based on a trait
• Transformation. Burns (1978) is credited for initiating a movement defining leadership as a transformational process, stating
that leadership occurs “when one or more persons engage with
others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another
to higher levels of motivation and morality” (p. 83).
Into the 21st Century
Debate continues as to whether leadership and management are
separate processes, but emerging research emphasizes the process of
leadership, whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to
achieve a common goal, rather than developing new ways of defining
leadership. Among these emerging leadership approaches are
• authentic leadership, in which the authenticity of leaders and
their leadership is emphasized;
• spiritual leadership, which focuses on leadership that utilizes
values and sense of calling and membership to motivate
The Future of Leadership
Working Across Generations
Chapter 1 Introduction 5
• servant leadership, which puts the leader in the role of servant,
who utilizes “caring principles” to focus on followers’ needs to
help these followers become more autonomous, knowledgeable, and like servants themselves; and
• adaptive leadership, in which leaders encourage followers to
adapt by confronting and solving problems, challenges, and
After decades of dissonance, leadership scholars agree on one
thing: They can’t come up with a common definition for leadership.
Because of such factors as growing global influences and generational
differences, leadership will continue to have different meanings for
different people. The bottom line is that leadership is a complex concept for which a determined definition may long be in flux.
Source: Adapted from Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, by J. C. Rost, 1991,
New York: Praeger.
Ways of Conceptualizing Leadership
In the past 60 years, as many as 65 different classification systems have been
developed to define the dimensions of leadership (Fleishman et al., 1991).
One such classification system, directly related to our discussion, is the
scheme proposed by Bass (1990, pp. 11–20). He suggested that some definitions view leadership as the focus of group processes. From this perspective, the
leader is at the center of group change and activity and embodies the will of
the group. Another set of definitions conceptualizes leadership from a personality perspective, which suggests that leadership is a combination of special
traits or characteristics that some individuals possess. These traits enable
those individuals to induce others to accomplish tasks. Other approaches to
leadership define it as an act or a behavior—the things leaders do to bring
about change in a group.
In addition, some define leadership in terms of the power relationship that
exists between leaders and followers. From this viewpoint, leaders have
power that they wield to effect change in others. Others view leadership as
a transformational process that moves followers to accomplish more than is
usually expected of them. Finally, some scholars address leadership from a
skills perspective. This viewpoint stresses the capabilities (knowledge and
skills) that make effective leadership possible.
 Perspectives of Leadership
6  Leadership Theory and Practice
Definition and Components
Despite the multitude of ways in which leadership has been conceptualized,
the following components can be identified as central to the phenomenon:
(a) Leadership is a process, (b) leadership involves influence, (c) leadership
occurs in groups, and (d) leadership involves common goals. Based on these
components, the following definition of leadership is used in this text:
Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of
individuals to achieve a common goal.
Defining leadership as a process means that it is not a trait or characteristic
that resides in the leader, but rather a transactional event that occurs
between the leader and the followers. Process implies that a leader affects
and is affected by followers. It emphasizes that leadership is not a linear,
one-way event, but rather an interactive event. When leadership is defined
in this manner, it becomes available to everyone. It is not restricted to the
formally designated leader in a group.
Leadership involves influence. It is concerned with how the leader affects
followers. Influence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without influence,
leadership does not exist.
Leadership occurs in groups. Groups are the context in which leadership
takes place. Leadership involves influencing a group of individuals who have
a common purpose. This can be a small task group, a community group, or
a large group encompassing an entire organization. Leadership is about one
individual influencing a group of others to accomplish common goals. Others (a group) are required for leadership to occur. Leadership training programs that teach people to lead themselves are not considered a part of
leadership within the definition that is set forth in this discussion.
Leadership includes attention to common goals. Leaders direct their energies
toward individuals who are trying to achieve something together. By common,
we mean that the leaders and followers have a mutual purpose. Attention to
common goals gives leadership an ethical overtone because it stresses the
need for leaders to work with followers to achieve selected goals. Stressing
mutuality lessens the possibility that leaders might act toward followers in
ways that are forced or unethical. It also increases the possibility that leaders
and followers will work together toward a common good (Rost, 1991).
The Ethical Dimension of Leadership
 Effective Leadership
Chapter 1 Introduction 7
Throughout this text, the people who engage in leadership will be called
leaders, and those toward whom leadership is directed will be called followers.
Both leaders and followers are involved together in the leadership process.
Leaders need followers, and followers need leaders (Burns, 1978; Heller &
Van Til, 1983; Hollander, 1992; Jago, 1982). Although leaders and followers
are closely linked, it is the leader who often initiates the relationship, creates
the communication linkages, and carries the burden for maintaining the
In our discussion of leaders and followers, attention will be directed toward
follower issues as well as leader issues. Leaders have an ethical responsibility
to attend to the needs and concerns of followers. As Burns (1978) pointed
out, discussions of leadership sometimes are viewed as elitist because of the
implied power and importance often ascribed to leaders in the leaderfollower relationship. Leaders are not above or better than followers. Leaders
and followers must be understood in relation to each other (Hollander,
1992) and collectively (Burns, 1978). They are in the leadership relationship
together—and are two sides of the same coin (Rost, 1991).
Leadership Described____________________________
In addition to definitional issues, it is important to discuss several other
questions pertaining to the nature of leadership. In the following section,
we will address questions such as how leadership as a trait differs from
leadership as a process; how appointed leadership differs from emergent
leadership; and how the concepts of power, coercion, and management differ from leadership.
Trait Versus Process Leadership
We have all heard statements such as “He is born to be a leader” or “She is a
natural leader.” These statements are commonly expressed by people who
take a trait perspective toward leadership. The trait perspective suggests that
certain individuals have special innate or inborn characteristics or qualities
that make them leaders, and that it is these qualities that differentiate them
from nonleaders. Some of the personal qualities used to identify leaders
include unique physical factors (e.g., height), personality features (e.g., extraversion), and other characteristics (e.g., intelligence and fluency; Bryman,
1992). In Chapter 2, we will discuss a large body of research that has examined these personal qualities.
Development of Leadership
8  Leadership Theory and Practice
To describe leadership as a trait is quite different from describing it as a
process (Figure 1.1). The trait viewpoint conceptualizes leadership as a property or set of properties possessed in varying degrees by different people
( Jago, 1982). This suggests that it resides in select people and restricts leadership to those who are believed to have special, usually inborn, talents.
The process viewpoint suggests that leadership is a phenomenon that resides
in the context of the interactions between leaders and followers and makes
leadership available to everyone. As a process, leadership can be observed in
leader behaviors ( Jago, 1982), and can be learned. The process definition of
leadership is consistent with the definition of leadership that we have set
forth in this chapter.
Assigned Versus Emergent Leadership
Some people are leaders because of their formal position in an organization,
whereas others are leaders because of the way other group members respond
to them. These two common forms of leadership are called assigned leadership and emergent leadership. Leadership that is based on occupying a position in an organization is assigned leadership. Team leaders, plant managers,
department heads, directors, and administrators are all examples of assigned
Yet the person assigned to a leadership position does not always become the
real leader in a particular setting. When others perceive an individual as the
most influential member of a group or an organization, regardless of the
individual’s title, the person is exhibiting emergent leadership. The individual
acquires emergent leadership through other people in the organization who
support and accept that individual’s behavior. This type of leadership is not
assigned by position; rather, it emerges over a period through communication.
Some of the positive communication behaviors that account for successful
leader emergence include being verbally involved, being informed, seeking others’
opinions, initiating new ideas, and being firm but not rigid (Fisher, 1974).
In addition to communication behaviors, researchers have found that personality plays a role in leadership emergence. For example, Smith and Foti
(1998) found that certain personality traits were related to leadership emergence in a sample of 160 male college students. The individuals who were
more dominant, more intelligent, and more confident about their own performance (general self-efficacy) were more likely to be identified as leaders
by other members of their task group. Although it is uncertain whether these
findings apply to women as well, Smith and Foti suggested that these three
traits could be used to identify individuals perceived to be emergent leaders.
Leadership: Skill or Process?
Chapter 1 Introduction 9
Figure 1.1
The Different Views of Leadership

Leadership •

Other Traits
SOURCE: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management
(pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.
Leadership emergence may also be affected by gender-biased perceptions.
In a study of 40 mixed-sex college groups, Watson and Hoffman (2004)
found that women who were urged to persuade their task groups to adopt
high-quality decisions succeeded with the same frequency as men with identical instructions. Although women were equally influential leaders in their
groups, they were rated significantly lower than comparable men were on
leadership. Furthermore, these influential women were also rated as significantly less likable than comparably influential men were. These results suggest that there continue to be barriers to women’s emergence as leaders in
some settings.
A unique perspective on leadership emergence is provided by social identity
theory (Hogg, 2001). From this perspective, leadership emergence is the
degree to which a person fits with the identity of the group as a whole. As
groups develop over time, a group prototype also develops. Individuals
emerge as leaders in the group when they become most like the group prototype. Being similar to the prototype makes leaders attractive to the group
and gives them influence with the group.
The leadership approaches we discuss in the subsequent chapters of this
book apply equally to assigned leadership and emergent leadership. When a
person is engaged in leadership, that person is a leader, whether leadership
 Ordinary Leaders
10  Leadership Theory and Practice
Table 1.1
Six Bases of Power
Referent Power
Based on followers’ identification and liking for the leader. A
teacher who is adored by students has referent power.
Expert Power
Based on followers’ perceptions of the leader’s competence. A
tour guide who is knowledgeable about a foreign country has
expert power.
Legitimate Power Associated with having status or formal job authority. A judge
who administers sentences in the courtroom exhibits
legitimate power.
Reward Power
Derived from having the capacity to provide rewards to others.
A supervisor who gives rewards to employees who work hard
is using reward power.
Coercive Power
Derived from having the capacity to penalize or punish others.
A coach who sits players on the bench for being late to
practice is using coercive power.
Derived from possessing knowledge that others want or need.
A boss who has information regarding new criteria to decide
employee promotion eligibility has information power.
SOURCE: Adapted from “The Bases of Social Power,” by J. R. French Jr. and B. Raven, 1962, in
D. Cartwright (Ed.), Group Dynamics: Research and Theory (pp. 259–269), New York: Harper &
Row; and “Social Influence and Power,” by B. H. Raven, 1965, in I. D. Steiner & M. Fishbein
(Eds.), Current Studies in Social Psychology (pp. 371–382), New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.
was assigned or emerged. This book focuses on the leadership process that
occurs when any individual is engaged in influencing other group members
in their efforts to reach a common goal.
Leadership and Power
The concept of power is related to leadership because it is part of the influence process. Power is the capacity or potential to influence. People have
power when they have the ability to affect others’ beliefs, attitudes, and
courses of action. Judges, doctors, coaches, and teachers are all examples of
people who have the potential to influence us. When they do, they are using
their power, the resource they draw on to effect change in us.
Although there are no explicit theories in the research literature about power
and leadership, power is a concept that people often associate with leadership. It is common for people to view leaders (both good and bad) and
people in positions of leadership as individuals who wield power over others,
and as a result, power is often thought of as synonymous with leadership. In
addition, people are often intrigued by how leaders use their power. Studying
 Power and Leadership
Bases of Power
Chapter 1 Introduction 11
Table 1.2
Types and Bases of Power
Position Power
Personal Power
SOURCE: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management
(pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.
how famous leaders, such as Hitler or Alexander the Great, use power to
effect change in others is titillating to many people because it underscores
that power can indeed effectuate change and maybe if they had power they
too could effectuate change. But regardless of people’s general interest in
power and leadership, power has not been a major variable in theories of
leadership. Clearly it is a component in the overall leadership process, but
research on its role is limited.
In her recent book, The End of Leadership (2012), Kellerman argues there has
been a shift in leadership power during the last 40 years. Power used to be
the domain of leaders, but that is diminishing and shifting to followers.
Changes in culture have meant followers demand more from leaders, and
leaders have responded. Access to technology has empowered followers,
given them access to huge amounts of information, and made leaders more
transparent. The result is a decline in respect of leaders and leaders’ legitimate power. In effect, followers have used information power to level the
playing field. Power is no longer synonymous with leadership, and in the
social contract between leaders and followers, leaders wield less power,
according to Kellerman.
In college courses today, the most widely cited research on power is French
and Raven’s (1959) work on the bases of social power. In their work, they
conceptualized power from the framework of a dyadic relationship that
included both the person influencing and the person being influenced. French
and Raven identified five common and important bases of power—referent,
expert, legitimate, reward, and coercive—and Raven (1965) identified a sixth,
information power (Table 1.1). Each of these bases of power increases a leader’s capacity to influence the attitudes, values, or behaviors of others.
In organizations, there are two major kinds of power: position power
and personal power. Position power is the power a person derives from a
particular office or rank in a formal organizational system. It is the influence
Types of Power
12  Leadership Theory and Practice
capacity a leader derives from having higher status than the followers have.
Vice presidents and department heads have more power than staff personnel
do because of the positions they hold in the organization. Position power
includes legitimate, reward, coercive, and information power (Table 1.2).
Personal power is the influence capacity a leader derives from being seen by
followers as likable and knowledgeable. When leaders act in ways that are
important to followers, it gives leaders power. For example, some managers
have power because their followers consider them to be good role models.
Others have power because their followers view them as highly competent
or considerate. In both cases, these managers’ power is ascribed to them by
others, based on how they are seen in their relationships with others. Personal power includes referent and expert power (Table 1.2).
In discussions of leadership, it is not unusual for leaders to be described as
wielders of power, as individuals who dominate others. In these instances,
power is conceptualized as a tool that leaders use to achieve their own ends.
Contrary to this view of power, Burns (1978) emphasized power from a
relationship standpoint. For Burns, power is not an entity that leaders use
over others to achieve their own ends; instead, power occurs in relationships.
It should be used by leaders and followers to promote their collective goals.
In this text, our discussions of leadership treat power as a relational concern
for both leaders and followers. We pay attention to how leaders work with
followers to reach common goals.
Leadership and Coercion
Coercive power is one of the specific kinds of power available to leaders.
Coercion involves the use of force to effect change. To coerce means to influence others to do something against their will and may include manipulating
penalties and rewards in their work environment. Coercion often involves the
use of threats, punishment, and negative reward schedules. Classic examples
of coercive leaders are Adolf Hitler in Germany, the Taliban leaders in
Afghanistan, Jim Jones in Guyana, and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim
Jong-il, each of whom has used power and restraint to force followers to
engage in extreme behaviors.
It is important to distinguish between coercion and leadership because it
allows us to separate out from our examples of leadership the behaviors
of individuals such as Hitler, the Taliban, and Jones. In our discussions of
leadership, coercive people are not used as models of ideal leadership. Our
Leadership and Coercion
Chapter 1 Introduction 13
definition suggests that leadership is reserved for those who influence a
group of individuals toward a common goal. Leaders who use coercion are
interested in their own goals and seldom are interested in the wants and
needs of followers. Using coercion runs counter to working with followers
to achieve a common goal.
Leadership and Management
Leadership is a process that is similar to management in many ways. Leadership involves influence, as does management. Leadership entails working
with people, which management entails as well. Leadership is concerned
with effective goal accomplishment, and so is management. In general, many
of the functions of management are activities that are consistent with the
definition of leadership we set forth at the beginning of this chapter.
But leadership is also different from management. Whereas the study of
leadership can be traced back to Aristotle, management emerged around the
turn of the 20th century with the advent of our industrialized society. Management was created as a way to reduce chaos in organizations, to make
them run more effectively and efficiently. The primary functions of management, as first identified by Fayol (1916), were planning, organizing, staffing,
and controlling. These functions are still representative of the field of management today.
In a book that compared the functions of management with the functions of
leadership, Kotter (1990) argued that the functions of the two are quite dissimilar (Figure 1.2). The overriding function of management is to provide
order and consistency to organizations, whereas the primary function of
leadership is to produce change and movement. Management is about seeking order and stability; leadership is about seeking adaptive and constructive
As illustrated in Figure 1.2, the major activities of management are played
out differently than the activities of leadership. Although they are different
in scope, Kotter (1990, pp. 7–8) contended that both management and leadership are essential if an organization is to prosper. For example, if an organization has strong management without leadership, the outcome can be
stifling and bureaucratic. Conversely, if an organization has strong leadership
without management, the outcome can be meaningless or misdirected
change for change’s sake. To be effective, organizations need to nourish both
competent management and skilled leadership.
Managers Require; Leaders Inspire
14  Leadership Theory and Practice
Figure 1.2
Functions of Management and Leadership
Management Produces Order
and Consistency
Leadership Produces Change
and Movement
Planning and Budgeting
• Establish agendas
• Set timetables
• Allocate resources
Organizing and Staffing
• Provide structure
• Make job placements
• Establish rules and
Controlling and Problem Solving
• Develop incentives
• Generate creative solutions
• Take corrective action
Establishing Direction
• Create a vision
• Clarify big picture
• Set strategies
Aligning People
• Communicate goals
• Seek commitment
• Build teams and coalitions
Motivating and Inspiring
• Inspire and energize
• Empower followers
• Satisfy unmet needs
SOURCE: Adapted from A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management
(pp. 3–8), by J. P. Kotter, 1990, New York: Free Press.
Many scholars, in addition to Kotter (1990), argue that leadership and management are distinct constructs. For example, Bennis and Nanus (1985)
maintained that there is a significant difference between the two. To manage
means to accomplish activities and master routines, whereas to lead means to
influence others and create visions for change. Bennis and Nanus made the
distinction very clear in their frequently quoted sentence, “Managers are
people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing”
(p. 221).
Rost (1991) has also been a proponent of distinguishing between leadership
and management. He contended that leadership is a multidirectional influence relationship and management is a unidirectional authority relationship.
Whereas leadership is concerned with the process of developing mutual purposes, management is directed toward coordinating activities in order to get
a job done. Leaders and followers work together to create real change,
whereas managers and subordinates join forces to sell goods and services
(Rost, 1991, pp. 149–152).
In a recent study, Simonet and Tett (2012) explored how leadership and
management are best conceptualized by having 43 experts identify the overlap and differences between leadership and management in regard to 63
different competencies. They found a large number of competencies (22)
Leadership in the NHS
Chapter 1 Introduction 15
descriptive of both leadership and management (e.g., productivity, customer
focus, professionalism, and goal setting), but they also found several unique
descriptors for each. Specifically, they found leadership was distinguished by
motivating intrinsically, creative thinking, strategic planning, tolerance of
ambiguity, and being able to read people, and management was distinguished
by rule orientation, short-term planning, motivating extrinsically, orderliness, safety concerns, and timeliness.
Approaching the issue from a narrower viewpoint, Zaleznik (1977) went so
far as to argue that leaders and managers themselves are distinct, and that
they are basically different types of people. He contended that managers are
reactive and prefer to work with people to solve problems but do so with low
emotional involvement. They act to limit choices. Zaleznik suggested that
leaders, on the other hand, are emotionally active and involved. They seek to
shape ideas instead of responding to them and act to expand the available
options to solve long-standing problems. Leaders change the way people
think about what is possible.
Although there are clear differences between management and leadership,
the two constructs overlap. When managers are involved in influencing a
group to meet its goals, they are involved in leadership. When leaders are
involved in planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling, they are involved
in management. Both processes involve influencing a group of individuals
toward goal attainment. For purposes of our discussion in this book, we
focus on the leadership process. In our examples and case studies, we treat
the roles of managers and leaders similarly and do not emphasize the differences between them.
Plan of the Book________________________________
This book is user-friendly. It is based on substantive theories but is written
to emphasize practice and application. Each chapter in the book follows the
same format. The first section of each chapter briefly describes the leadership approach and discusses various research studies applicable to the
approach. The second section of each chapter evaluates the approach, highlighting its strengths and criticisms. Special attention is given to how the
approach contributes or fails to contribute to an overall understanding of
the leadership process. The next section uses case studies to prompt discussion of how the approach can be applied in ongoing organizations. Finally,
each chapter provides a leadership questionnaire along with a discussion of
how the questionnaire measures the reader’s leadership style. Each chapter
ends with a summary and references.
Leadership and Nursing Theory
16  Leadership Theory and Practice
Leadership is a topic with universal appeal; in the popular press and academic research literature, much has been written about leadership. Despite
the abundance of writing on the topic, leadership has presented a major
challenge to practitioners and researchers interested in understanding the
nature of leadership. It is a highly valued phenomenon that is very complex.
Through the years, leadership has been defined and conceptualized in many
ways. The component common to nearly all classifications is that leadership
is an influence process that assists groups of individuals toward goal attainment. Specifically, in this book leadership is defined as a process whereby an
individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.
Because both leaders and followers are part of the leadership process, it is
important to address issues that confront followers as well as issues that
confront leaders. Leaders and followers should be understood in relation to
each other.
In prior research, many studies have focused on leadership as a trait. The
trait perspective suggests that certain people in our society have special
inborn qualities that make them leaders. This view restricts leadership to
those who are believed to have special characteristics. In contrast, the
approach in this text suggests that leadership is a process that can be learned,
and that it is available to everyone.
Two common forms of leadership are assigned and emergent. Assigned leadership is based on a formal title or position in an organization. Emergent leadership results from what one does and how one acquires support from followers. Leadership, as a process, applies to individuals in both assigned roles
and emergent roles.
Related to leadership is the concept of power, the potential to influence. There
are two major kinds of power: position and personal. Position power, which is
much like assigned leadership, is the power an individual derives from having
a title in a formal organizational system. It includes legitimate, reward, information, and coercive power. Personal power comes from followers and includes
referent and expert power. Followers give it to leaders because followers believe
leaders have something of value. Treating power as a shared resource is important because it deemphasizes the idea that leaders are power wielders.
While coercion has been a common power brought to bear by many individuals in charge, it should not be viewed as ideal leadership. Our definition
Chapter 1 Introduction 17
of leadership stresses using influence to bring individuals toward a common
goal, while coercion involves the use of threats and punishment to induce
change in followers for the sake of the leaders. Coercion runs counter to
leadership because it does not treat leadership as a process that emphasizes
working with followers to achieve shared objectives.
Leadership and management are different concepts that overlap. They are
different in that management traditionally focuses on the activities of planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling, whereas leadership emphasizes
the general influence process. According to some researchers, management
is concerned with creating order and stability, whereas leadership is about
adaptation and constructive change. Other researchers go so far as to argue
that managers and leaders are different types of people, with managers being
more reactive and less emotionally involved and leaders being more proactive
and more emotionally involved. The overlap between leadership and management is centered on how both involve influencing a group of individuals
in goal attainment.
In this book, we discuss leadership as a complex process. Based on the
research literature, we describe selected approaches to leadership and assess
how they can be used to improve leadership in real situations.
Sharpen your skills with SAGE edge at
Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and
research. New York: Free Press.
Bennis, W. G., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York:
Harper & Row.
Bryman, A. (1992). Charisma and leadership in organizations. London: Sage.
Bryman, A., Collinson, D., Grint, K., Jackson, G., & Uhl-Bien, M. (Eds.). (2011).
The SAGE handbook of leadership. London: Sage.
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.
Copeland, N. (1942). Psychology and the soldier. Harrisburg, PA: Military Service
Day, D. V., & Antonakis, J. (Eds.). (2012). The nature of leadership (2nd ed.). Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage.
Fayol, H. (1916). General and industrial management. London: Pitman.
Fisher, B. A. (1974). Small group decision making: Communication and the group process.
New York: McGraw-Hill.
18  Leadership Theory and Practice
Fleishman, E. A., Mumford, M. D., Zaccaro, S. J., Levin, K. Y., Korotkin, A. L.,
& Hein, M. B. (1991). Taxonomic efforts in the description of leader behavior:
A synthesis and functional interpretation. Leadership Quarterly, 2(4), 245–287.
French, J. R., Jr., & Raven, B. H. (1959). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright
(Ed.), Studies in social power (pp. 259–269). Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social
Gardner, J. W. (1990). On leadership. New York: Free Press.
Heller, T., & Van Til, J. (1983). Leadership and followership: Some summary propositions. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 18, 405–414.
Hemphill, J. K. (1949). Situational factors in leadership. Columbus: Ohio State University, Bureau of Educational Research.
Hickman, G. R. (Ed.). (2009). Leading organizations: Perspectives for a new era (2nd
ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hogg, M. A. (2001). A social identity theory of leadership. Personality and Social
Psychology Review, 5, 184–200.
Hollander, E. P. (1992). Leadership, followership, self, and others. Leadership Quarterly, 3(1), 43–54.
Jago, A. G. (1982). Leadership: Perspectives in theory and research. Management Science, 28(3), 315–336.
Kellerman, B. (2012). The end of leadership. New York: HarperCollins.
Kotter, J. P. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management. New
York: Free Press.
Moore, B. V. (1927). The May conference on leadership. Personnel Journal, 6, 124–128.
Mumford, M. D. (2006). Pathways to outstanding leadership: A comparative analysis of
charismatic, ideological, and pragmatic leaders. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Peters, T. J., & Waterman, R. H. (1982). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s
best-run companies. New York: Warner Books.
Raven, B. H. (1965). Social influence and power. In I. D. Steiner & M. Fishbein
(Eds.), Current studies in social psychology (pp. 371–382). New York: Holt, Rinehart,
& Winston.
Rost, J. C. (1991). Leadership for the twenty-first century. New York: Praeger.
Seeman, M. (1960). Social status and leadership. Columbus: Ohio State University,
Bureau of Educational Research.
Simonet, D. V., & Tett, R. P. (2012). Five perspectives on the leadership-management
relationship: A competency-based evaluation and integration. Journal of Leadership
& Organizational Studies, 20(2), 199–213.
Smith, J. A., & Foti, R. J. (1998). A pattern approach to the study of leader emergence.
Leadership Quarterly, 9(2), 147–160.
Stogdill, R. M. (1974). Handbook of leadership: A survey of theory and research. New
York: Free Press.
Watson, C., & Hoffman, L. R. (2004). The role of task-related behavior in the emergence of leaders. Group & Organization Management, 29(6), 659–685.
Zaleznik, A. (1977, May–June). Managers and leaders: Are they different? Harvard
Business Review, 55, 67–78.
Trait Approach
Of interest to scholars throughout the 20th century, the trait approach was
one of the first systematic attempts to study leadership. In the early 20th
century, leadership traits were studied to determine what made certain
people great leaders. The theories that were developed were called “great
man” theories because they focused on identifying the innate qualities and
characteristics possessed by great social, political, and military leaders (e.g.,
Catherine the Great, Mohandas Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln,
Joan of Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte). It was believed that people were
born with these traits, and that only the “great” people possessed them.
During this time, research concentrated on determining the specific traits
that clearly differentiated leaders from followers (Bass, 1990; Jago, 1982).
In the mid-20th century, the trait approach was challenged by research that
questioned the universality of leadership traits. In a major review, Stogdill
(1948) suggested that no consistent set of traits differentiated leaders from
nonleaders across a variety of situations. An individual with leadership traits
who was a leader in one situation might not be a leader in another situation.
Rather than being a quality that individuals possess, leadership was
reconceptualized as a relationship between people in a social situation.
Personal factors related to leadership continued to be important, but
researchers contended that these factors were to be considered as relative to
the requirements of the situation.
The trait approach has generated much interest among researchers for its
explanation of how traits influence leadership (Bryman, 1992). For example,
an analysis of much of the previous trait research by Lord, DeVader, and
Heroic Women
What Traits Do Leaders Have?
20  Leadership Theory and Practice
Alliger (1986) found that traits were strongly associated with individuals’
perceptions of leadership. Similarly, Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991) went so
far as to claim that effective leaders are actually distinct types of people in
several key respects.
The trait approach has earned new interest through the current emphasis
given by many researchers to visionary and charismatic leadership (see Bass,
1990; Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Nadler & Tushman, 1989; Zaccaro, 2007;
Zaleznik, 1977). Charismatic leadership catapulted to the forefront of public
attention with the 2008 election of the United States’ first African American
president, Barack Obama, who is perceived by many to be charismatic,
among many other attributes. In a study to determine what distinguishes
charismatic leaders from others, Jung and Sosik (2006) found that
charismatic leaders consistently possess traits of self-monitoring, engagement
in impression management, motivation to attain social power, and motivation
to attain self-actualization. In short, the trait approach is alive and well. It
began with an emphasis on identifying the qualities of great persons, shifted
to include the impact of situations on leadership, and, currently, has shifted
back to reemphasize the critical role of traits in effective leadership.
Although the research on traits spanned the entire 20th century, a good
overview of this approach is found in two surveys completed by Stogdill
(1948, 1974). In his first survey, Stogdill analyzed and synthesized more than
124 trait studies conducted between 1904 and 1947. In his second study, he
analyzed another 163 studies completed between 1948 and 1970. By taking
a closer look at each of these reviews, we can obtain a clearer picture of how
individuals’ traits contribute to the leadership process.
Stogdill’s first survey identified a group of important leadership traits that
were related to how individuals in various groups became leaders. His results
showed that the average individual in the leadership role is different from an
average group member with regard to the following eight traits: intelligence,
alertness, insight, responsibility, initiative, persistence, self-confidence, and
The findings of Stogdill’s first survey also indicated that an individual does
not become a leader solely because that individual possesses certain traits.
Rather, the traits that leaders possess must be relevant to situations in which
the leader is functioning. As stated earlier, leaders in one situation may not
necessarily be leaders in another situation. Findings showed that leadership
was not a passive state but resulted from a working relationship between the
leader and other group members. This research marked the beginning of a
Great Man Theory
 Impression Management
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 21
new approach to leadership research that focused on leadership behaviors
and leadership situations.
Stogdill’s second survey, published in 1974, analyzed 163 new studies and
compared the findings of these studies to the findings he had reported in
his first survey. The second survey was more balanced in its description of
the role of traits and leadership. Whereas the first survey implied that
leadership is determined principally by situational factors and not traits, the
second survey argued more moderately that both traits and situational
factors were determinants of leadership. In essence, the second survey
validated the original trait idea that a leader’s characteristics are indeed a
part of leadership.
Similar to the first survey, Stogdill’s second survey also identified traits that
were positively associated with leadership. The list included the following 10
1. drive for responsibility and task completion;
2. vigor and persistence in pursuit of goals;
3. risk taking and originality in problem solving;
4. drive to exercise initiative in social situations;
5. self-confidence and sense of personal identity;
6. willingness to accept consequences of decision and action;
7. readiness to absorb interpersonal stress;
8. willingness to tolerate frustration and delay;
9. ability to influence other people’s behavior; and
10. capacity to structure social interaction systems to the purpose at
Mann (1959) conducted a similar study that examined more than 1,400
findings regarding traits and leadership in small groups, but he placed less
emphasis on how situational factors influenced leadership. Although
tentative in his conclusions, Mann suggested that certain traits could be
used to distinguish leaders from nonleaders. His results identified leaders as
strong in the following six traits: intelligence, masculinity, adjustment,
dominance, extraversion, and conservatism.
 Everyday Leaders
Trait Leadership
22  Leadership Theory and Practice
Table 2.1 Studies of Leadership Traits and Characteristics
Stogdill (1948) (1959)
Stogdill (1974)
and Locke
intelligence drive
masculinity motivation
dominance integrity
Zaccaro, Kemp, and
Bader (2004)
cognitive abilities
emotional stability
social intelligence
problem solving
SOURCES: Adapted from “The Bases of Social Power,” by J. R. P. French, Jr., and B. Raven, 1962, in D.
Cartwright (Ed.), Group Dynamics: Research and Theory (pp. 259–269), New York: Harper and Row; Zaccaro,
Kemp, & Bader (2004).
Lord et al. (1986) reassessed Mann’s (1959) findings using a more
sophisticated procedure called meta-analysis. Lord et al. found that
intelligence, masculinity, and dominance were significantly related to how
individuals perceived leaders. From their findings, the authors argued
strongly that traits could be used to make discriminations consistently across
situations between leaders and nonleaders.
Both of these studies were conducted during periods in American history
where male leadership was prevalent in most aspects of business and society.
In Chapter 15, we explore more contemporary research regarding the role of
gender in leadership, and we look at whether traits such as masculinity and
dominance still bear out as important factors in distinguishing between
leaders and nonleaders.
Yet another review argues for the importance of leadership traits: Kirkpatrick
and Locke (1991, p. 59) contended that “it is unequivocally clear that leaders
are not like other people.” From a qualitative synthesis of earlier research,
Kirkpatrick and Locke postulated that leaders differ from nonleaders on six
traits: drive, motivation, integrity, confidence, cognitive ability, and task
knowledge. According to these writers, individuals can be born with these
traits, they can learn them, or both. It is these six traits that make up the
Leadership Presence
Florence Nightingale
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 23
Table 2.2
Major Leadership Traits
• Intelligence
• Self-confidence
• Determination
• Integrity
• Sociability
“right stuff ” for leaders. Kirkpatrick and Locke contended that leadership
traits make some people different from others, and this difference should be
recognized as an important part of the leadership process.
In the 1990s, researchers began to investigate the leadership traits associated
with “social intelligence,” characterized as those abilities to understand one’s
own and others’ feelings, behaviors, and thoughts and to act appropriately
(Marlowe, 1986). Zaccaro (2002) defined social intelligence as having such
capacities as social awareness, social acumen, self-monitoring, and the ability
to select and enact the best response given the contingencies of the situation
and social environment. A number of empirical studies showed these
capacities to be a key trait for effective leaders. Zaccaro, Kemp, and Bader
(2004) included such social abilities in the categories of leadership traits they
outlined as important leadership attributes (see Table 2.1).
Table 2.1 provides a summary of the traits and characteristics that were
identified by researchers from the trait approach. It illustrates clearly the
breadth of traits related to leadership. Table 2.1 also shows how difficult it is
to select certain traits as definitive leadership traits; some of the traits appear
in several of the survey studies, whereas others appear in only one or two
studies. Regardless of the lack of precision in Table 2.1, however, it represents
a general convergence of research regarding which traits are leadership traits.
What, then, can be said about trait research? What has a century of research
on the trait approach given us that is useful? The answer is an extended list
of traits that individuals might hope to possess or wish to cultivate if they
want to be perceived by others as leaders. Some of the traits that are central
to this list include intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and
sociability (Table 2.2).
Intelligence or intellectual ability is positively related to leadership. Based on
their analysis of a series of recent studies on intelligence and various indices
of leadership, Zaccaro et al. (2004) found support for the finding that leaders
tend to have higher intelligence than nonleaders. Having strong verbal
 Emotional and Other Intelligences
24  Leadership Theory and Practice
ability, perceptual ability, and reasoning appears to make one a better leader.
Although it is good to be bright, the research also indicates that a leader’s
intellectual ability should not differ too much from that of the subordinates.
If the leader’s IQ is very different from that of the followers, it can have a
counterproductive impact on leadership. Leaders with higher abilities may
have difficulty communicating with followers because they are preoccupied
or because their ideas are too advanced for their followers to accept.
An example of a leader for whom intelligence was a key trait was Steve Jobs,
founder and CEO of Apple who died in 2011. Jobs once said, “I have this
really incredible product inside me and I have to get it out” (Sculley, 2011,
p. 27). Those visionary products, first the Apple II and Macintosh computers
and then the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, have revolutionized the personal
computer and electronic device industry, changing the way people play and
In the next chapter of this text, which addresses leadership from a skills
perspective, intelligence is identified as a trait that significantly contributes
to a leader’s acquisition of complex problem-solving skills and social
judgment skills. Intelligence is described as having a positive impact on an
individual’s capacity for effective leadership.
Self-confidence is another trait that helps one to be a leader. Self-confidence
is the ability to be certain about one’s competencies and skills. It includes a
sense of self-esteem and self-assurance and the belief that one can make a
difference. Leadership involves influencing others, and self-confidence
allows the leader to feel assured that his or her attempts to influence others
are appropriate and right.
Again, Steve Jobs is a good example of a self-confident leader. When Jobs
described the devices he wanted to create, many people said they weren’t
possible. But Jobs never doubted his products would change the world, and,
despite resistance, he did things the way he thought best. “Jobs was one of those
CEOs who ran the company like he wanted to. He believed he knew more
about it than anyone else, and he probably did,” said a colleague (Stone, 2011).
Many leaders also exhibit determination. Determination is the desire to get
the job done and includes characteristics such as initiative, persistence,
 Political Leadership
 Steve Jobs
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 25
dominance, and drive. People with determination are willing to assert
themselves, are proactive, and have the capacity to persevere in the face of
obstacles. Being determined includes showing dominance at times and in
situations where followers need to be directed.
Dr. Paul Farmer has shown determination in his efforts to secure health care
and eradicate tuberculosis for the very poor of Haiti and other third world
countries. He began his efforts as a recent college graduate, traveling and
working in Cange, Haiti. While there, he was accepted to Harvard Medical
School. Knowing that his work in Haiti was invaluable to his training, he
managed to do both: spending months traveling back and forth between
Haiti and Cambridge, Massachusetts, for school. His first effort in Cange
was to establish a one-room clinic where he treated “all comers” and trained
local health care workers. Farmer found that there was more to providing
health care than just dispensing medicine: He secured donations to build
schools, houses, and communal sanitation and water facilities in the region.
He spearheaded vaccinations of all the children in the area, dramatically
reducing malnutrition and infant mortality. In order to keep working in
Haiti, he returned to America and founded Partners In Health, a charitable
foundation that raises money to fund these efforts. Since its founding, PIH
not only has succeeded in improving the health of many communities in
Haiti but now has projects in Haiti, Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, Russia, Rwanda,
and the United States, and supports other projects in Mexico and Guatemala
(Kidder, 2004; Partners In Health, 2014).
Integrity is another of the important leadership traits. Integrity is the quality
of honesty and trustworthiness. People who adhere to a strong set of
principles and take responsibility for their actions are exhibiting integrity.
Leaders with integrity inspire confidence in others because they can be
trusted to do what they say they are going to do. They are loyal, dependable,
and not deceptive. Basically, integrity makes a leader believable and worthy
of our trust.
In our society, integrity has received a great deal of attention in recent years.
For example, as a result of two situations—the position taken by President
George W. Bush regarding Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and
the impeachment proceedings during the Clinton presidency—people are
demanding more honesty of their public officials. Similarly, scandals in the
corporate world (e.g., Enron and WorldCom) have led people to become
skeptical of leaders who are not highly ethical. In the educational arena, new
Terry Fox
 Consultant Nurses
26  Leadership Theory and Practice
K–12 curricula are being developed to teach character, values, and ethical
leadership. (For instance, see the Character Counts! program developed by
the Josephson Institute of Ethics in California at,
and the Pillars of Leadership program taught at the J. W. Fanning Institute
for Leadership in Georgia at In short, society is
demanding greater integrity of character in its leaders.
A final trait that is important for leaders is sociability. Sociability is a leader’s
inclination to seek out pleasant social relationships. Leaders who show
sociability are friendly, outgoing, courteous, tactful, and diplomatic. They are
sensitive to others’ needs and show concern for their well-being. Social
leaders have good interpersonal skills and create cooperative relationships
with their followers.
An example of a leader with great sociability skills is Michael Hughes, a
university president. Hughes prefers to walk to all his meetings because it
gets him out on campus where he greets students, staff, and faculty. He has
lunch in the dorm cafeterias or student union and will often ask a table of
strangers if he can sit with them. Students rate him as very approachable,
while faculty say he has an open-door policy. In addition, he takes time to
write personal notes to faculty, staff, and students to congratulate them on
their successes.
Although our discussion of leadership traits has focused on five major traits
(i.e., intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability),
this list is not all-inclusive. While other traits indicated in Table 2.1 are
associated with effective leadership, the five traits we have identified
contribute substantially to one’s capacity to be a leader.
Until recently, most reviews of leadership traits have been qualitative. In
addition, they have lacked a common organizing framework. However, the
research described in the following section provides a quantitative assessment
of leadership traits that is conceptually framed around the five-factor model
of personality. It describes how five major personality traits are related to
Five-Factor Personality Model and Leadership
Over the past 25 years, a consensus has emerged among researchers regarding
the basic factors that make up what we call personality (Goldberg, 1990;
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 27
Table 2.3
Big Five Personality Factors
The tendency to be depressed, anxious, insecure,
vulnerable, and hostile
The tendency to be sociable and assertive and to have
positive energy
The tendency to be informed, creative, insightful, and
The tendency to be accepting, conforming, trusting, and
The tendency to be thorough, organized, controlled,
dependable, and decisive
SOURCE: Goldberg, L. R. (1990). An alternative “description of personality”: The big-five
factor structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1216–1229.
McCrae & Costa, 1987). These factors, commonly called the Big Five, are
neuroticism, extraversion (surgency), openness (intellect), agreeableness, and
conscientiousness (dependability). (See Table 2.3.)
To assess the links between the Big Five and leadership, Judge, Bono, Ilies,
and Gerhardt (2002) conducted a major meta-analysis of 78 leadership and
personality studies published between 1967 and 1998. In general, Judge
et al. found a strong relationship between the Big Five traits and leadership.
It appears that having certain personality traits is associated with being an
effective leader.
Specifically, in their study, extraversion was the factor most strongly
associated with leadership. It is the most important trait of effective leaders.
Extraversion was followed, in order, by conscientiousness, openness, and low
neuroticism. The last factor, agreeableness, was found to be only weakly
associated with leadership.
Emotional Intelligence
Another way of assessing the impact of traits on leadership is through the
concept of emotional intelligence, which emerged in the 1990s as an
important area of study in psychology. It has been widely studied by
researchers, and has captured the attention of many practitioners (Caruso &
Wolfe, 2004; Goleman, 1995, 1998; Mayer & Salovey, 1995, 1997; Mayer,
Salovey, & Caruso, 2000; Shankman & Allen, 2008).
 Emotional Intelligence
28  Leadership Theory and Practice
As the two words suggest, emotional intelligence has to do with our emotions
(affective domain) and thinking (cognitive domain), and the interplay
between the two. Whereas intelligence is concerned with our ability to learn
information and apply it to life tasks, emotional intelligence is concerned with
our ability to understand emotions and apply this understanding to life’s
tasks. Specifically, emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to
perceive and express emotions, to use emotions to facilitate thinking, to
understand and reason with emotions, and to effectively manage emotions
within oneself and in relationships with others (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso,
There are different ways to measure emotional intelligence. One scale is the
Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; Mayer,
Caruso, & Salovey, 2000). The MSCEIT measures emotional intelligence as
a set of mental abilities, including the abilities to perceive, facilitate,
understand, and manage emotion.
Goleman (1995, 1998) takes a broader approach to emotional intelligence,
suggesting that it consists of a set of personal and social competencies.
Personal competence consists of self-awareness, confidence, self-regulation,
conscientiousness, and motivation. Social competence consists of empathy
and social skills such as communication and conflict management.
Shankman and Allen (2008) developed a practice-oriented model of
emotionally intelligent leadership, which suggests that leaders must be
conscious of three fundamental facets of leadership: context, self, and others.
In the model, emotionally intelligent leaders are defined by 21 capacities to
which a leader should pay attention, including group savvy, optimism,
initiative, and teamwork.
There is a debate in the field regarding how big a role emotional intelligence
plays in helping people be successful in life. Some researchers, such as
Goleman (1995), suggested that emotional intelligence plays a major role in
whether people are successful at school, home, and work. Others, such as
Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2000), made softer claims for the significance
of emotional intelligence in meeting life’s challenges.
As a leadership ability or trait, emotional intelligence appears to be an
important construct. The underlying premise suggested by this framework
is that people who are more sensitive to their emotions and the impact of
their emotions on others will be leaders who are more effective. As more
research is conducted on emotional intelligence, the intricacies of how
emotional intelligence relates to leadership will be better understood.
 Emergent Leadership
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 29
How Does the Trait Approach Work?__________
The trait approach is very different from the other approaches discussed
in subsequent chapters because it focuses exclusively on the leader, not
on the followers or the situation. This makes the trait approach
theoretically more straightforward than other approaches. In essence, the
trait approach is concerned with what traits leaders exhibit and who has
these traits.
The trait approach does not lay out a set of hypotheses or principles about
what kind of leader is needed in a certain situation or what a leader should
do, given a particular set of circumstances. Instead, this approach emphasizes
that having a leader with a certain set of traits is crucial to having effective
leadership. It is the leader and the leader’s traits that are central to the
leadership process.
The trait approach suggests that organizations will work better if the people
in managerial positions have designated leadership profiles. To find the right
people, it is common for organizations to use trait assessment instruments.
The assumption behind these procedures is that selecting the right people
will increase organizational effectiveness. Organizations can specify the
characteristics or traits that are important to them for particular positions
and then use trait assessment measures to determine whether an individual
fits their needs.
The trait approach is also used for personal awareness and development.
By analyzing their own traits, managers can gain an idea of their strengths
and weaknesses, and can get a feel for how others in the organization see
them. A trait assessment can help managers determine whether they
have the qualities to move up or to move to other positions in the
A trait assessment gives individuals a clearer picture of who they are as
leaders and how they fit into the organizational hierarchy. In areas where
their traits are lacking, leaders can try to make changes in what they do or
where they work to increase their traits’ potential impact.
Near the end of the chapter, a leadership instrument is provided that you can
use to assess your leadership traits. This instrument is typical of the kind of
assessments that companies use to evaluate individuals’ leadership potential.
As you will discover by completing this instrument, trait measures are a good
way to assess your own characteristics.
 Introvert Contributions
30  Leadership Theory and Practice
The trait approach has several identifiable strengths. First, the trait
approach is intuitively appealing. It fits clearly with our notion that leaders
are the individuals who are out front and leading the way in our society. The
image in the popular press and community at large is that leaders are a
special kind of people—people with gifts who can do extraordinary things.
The trait approach is consistent with this perception because it is built on
the premise that leaders are different, and their difference resides in the
special traits they possess. People have a need to see their leaders as gifted
people, and the trait approach fulfills this need.
A second strength of the trait approach is that it has a century of research to
back it up. No other theory can boast of the breadth and depth of studies
conducted on the trait approach. The strength and longevity of this line of
research give the trait approach a measure of credibility that other approaches
lack. Out of this abundance of research has emerged a body of data that
points to the important role of various traits in the leadership process.
Another strength, more conceptual in nature, results from the way the trait
approach highlights the leader component in the leadership process.
Leadership is composed of leaders, followers, and situations, but the trait
approach is devoted to only the first of these—leaders. Although this is also
a potential weakness, by focusing exclusively on the role of the leader in
leadership the trait approach has been able to provide us with a deeper and
more intricate understanding of how the leader and the leader’s traits are
related to the leadership process.
Last, the trait approach has given us some benchmarks for what we need to
look for if we want to be leaders. It identifies what traits we should have and
whether the traits we do have are the best traits for leadership. Based on the
findings of this approach, trait assessment procedures can be used to offer
invaluable information to supervisors and managers about their strengths
and weaknesses and ways to improve their overall leadership effectiveness.
In addition to its strengths, the trait approach has several weaknesses. First
and foremost is the failure of the trait approach to delimit a definitive list
of leadership traits. Although an enormous number of studies have been
conducted over the past 100 years, the findings from these studies have
 Character Traits
Chapter 2 Trait Approach 31
been ambiguous and uncertain at times. Furthermore, the list of traits that
has emerged appears endless. This is obvious from Table 2.1, which lists a
multitude of traits. In fact, these are only a sample of the many leadership
traits that were studied.
Another criticism is that the trait approach has failed to take situations into
account. As Stogdill (1948) pointed out more than 60 years ago, it is difficult
to isolate a set of traits that are characteristic of leaders without also factoring
situational effects into the equation. People who possess certain traits that
make them leaders in one situation may not be leaders in another situation.
Some people may have the traits that help them emerge as leaders but not
the traits that allow them to maintain their leadership over time. In other
words, the situation influences leadership. It is therefore difficult to identify
a universal set of leadership traits in isolation from the context in which the
leadership occurs.
A third criticism, derived from the prior two criticisms, is that this approach
has resulted in highly subjective determinations of the most important
leadership traits. Because the findings on traits have been so extensive and
broad, there has been much subjective interpretation of the meaning of the
data. This subjectivity is readily apparent in the many self-help, practiceoriented management books. For example, one author might identify
ambition and creativity as crucial leadership traits; another might identify
empathy and calmness. In both cases, it is the author’s subjective experience
and observations that are the basis for the identified leadership traits. These
books may be helpful to readers because they identify and describe important
leadership traits, but the methods used to generate these lists of traits are
weak. To respond to people’s need for a set of definitive traits of leaders,
authors have set forth lists of traits, even if the origins of these lists are not
grounded in strong, reliable research.
Research on traits can also be criticized for failing to look at traits in
relationship to leadership outcomes. This research has emphasized the
identification of traits, but has not addressed how leadership traits affect
group members and their work. In trying to ascertain universal leadership
traits, researchers have focused on the link between specific traits and leader
emergence, but they have not tried to link leader traits with other outcomes
such as productivity or employee satisfaction. For example, trait research
does not provide data on whether leaders who might have high intelligence
and strong integrity have better results than leaders without these traits. The
trait approach is weak in describing how leaders’ traits affect the outcomes
of groups and teams in organizational settings.
 Effective and Ineffective Leaders
32  Leadership Theory and Practice
A final criticism of the trait approach is that it is not a useful approach for
training and development for leadership. Even if definitive traits could be
identified, teaching new traits is not an easy process because traits are not
easily changed. For example, it is not reasonable to send managers to a
training program to raise their IQ or to train them to become extraverted.
The point is that traits are largely fixed psychological structures, and this
limits the value of teaching and leadership training.
Despite its shortcomings, the trait approach provides valuable information
about leadership. It can be applied by individuals at all levels and in all
types of organizations. Although the trait approach does not provide a
definitive set of traits, it does provide direction regarding which traits are
good to have if one aspires to a leadership position. By taking trait
assessments and other similar questionnaires, people can gain insight into
whether they have certain traits deemed important for leadership, and
they can pinpoint their strengths…
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